Marquette University
Press Release

Marquette professor awarded $1.9 million grant for spinal cord regeneration project

The grant is his third NIH grant of more than $1 million in the past six years.

By - Mar 25th, 2019 11:34 am
Murray Blackmore. Photo by Dan Johnson courtesy of Marquette University.

Murray Blackmore. Photo by Dan Johnson courtesy of Marquette University.

MILWAUKEE — Dr. Murray Blackmore, associate professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Health Sciences at Marquette University, received a $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a five-year project that targets regenerating injured nerve cells in spinal cord injuries. The grant is his third NIH grant of more than $1 million in the past six years.

The project, entitled “Combinatorial Manipulation of Transcription Factors to Promote (Central Nervous System) Regeneration,” is testing cutting-edge gene therapy approaches to boost regenerative ability in injured nerve cells and help restore connections across the injury site.

“Thanks to grants like this from the National Institutes of Health, as well as seed funding from organizations like the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, we can continue to tackle the problem of spinal cord injury – specifically, of the regrowth of nerve cells at the injury site,” Blackmore said.

In adults, axons in the central nervous system generally fail to regenerate after they are lost due to injury or disease, leading to permanent disability. Axon growth is prevented by a hostile growth environment, as well as developmental loss as neurons age.

Blackmore’s team will test three complementary and mutually supportive strategies to enhance the promising properties of a pro-regenerative transcription factor called KLF6. Blackmore’s research team hopes is to harness a newly developed gene therapy that enables retrograde delivery of genes with unprecedented efficiency. Injection of this therapy to the spinal cord results in widespread gene expression in injured neurons throughout the brainstem, midbrain and motor cortex.

“Dr. Blackmore continues to push the boundaries of what is currently possible within the field of spinal cord injury research, utilizing state-of-the-art scientific approaches,” said Dr. William E. Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences and director of the Integrative Neuroscience Research Center. “The work that he and his research group are doing is both highly creative and innovative, and the reason the National Institutes of Health has invested so much into his research program.”

NIH is the largest provider of public funds for research in the world, investing more than $32 billion annually to enhance life and reduce illness and disability.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Organizations:

Recent Press Releases by Marquette University

CityLab senior editor to go ‘On the Issues’ to discuss the history of suburbia

This 90-minute event will feature a moderated discussion with Amanda Kolson Hurley, as well as four suburban mayors.

Marquette University names Ian Gonzalez as new vice president for finance

Marquette alumnus joins university from locally based Briggs & Stratton

Marquette counseling professor awarded $750,000 grant to expand rehabilitation, mental health education program

Dr. Lee Za Ong’s project, with funds from the grant over a five-year period, will recruit and enroll at least 25 master’s degree scholars from diverse background and provide high-quality instruction to the scholars in clinical classes.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us